Vital signs: Exposure to Electronic Cigarette Advertisements among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2014

January 5, 2016 / Vol. 64 / Early Release

MMWR Introduction

CDC analyzed data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) to assess exposure to e-cigarette advertisements among US middle and high school students from four sources: retail stores (convenience stores, supermarkets, or gas stations); Internet; TV and movies; and newspapers and magazines. The findings indicate that among all students, 68.9% (18.3 million students) were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from ≥1 source. By source, exposure was as follows: retail stores (54.8%, 14.4 million); Internet (39.8%, 10.5 million); TV/movies (36.5%, 9.6 million); and newspapers/magazines (30.4%, 8.0 million). Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements on the Internet and newspapers/magazines was higher among females than males. Exposure in retail stores was higher among non-Hispanic whites than non-Hispanic blacks and students of non-Hispanic other races/ethnicities. Exposure on TV/movies was higher among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites. In general, exposure increased with increasing grade for all sources. Exposure by number of sources was 1 source (22.1%, 5.8 million); 2 sources (17.2%, 4.5 million); 3 sources (14.1%, 3.7 million); and 4 sources (15.4%, 4.1 million).

Advertising for conventional tobacco products, such as cigarettes, has been shown to prompt experimentation as well as increase and maintain tobacco product use among young people. This article highlights youth exposure to e-cigarette advertisements, which may be contributing, in part, to increasing experimentation with and use of e-cigarettes among young people in recent years. Multiple approaches are warranted to reduce youth exposure to e-cigarette advertisements, including efforts to reduce youth access to the settings where tobacco products such as e-cigarettes are sold, and regulation of youth-oriented e-cigarette marketing. The implementation of these approaches—in coordination with fully funded and sustained comprehensive state tobacco control programs—has the potential to reduce all forms of tobacco use among youth, including e-cigarettes.

MMWR Highlights

Electronic cigarette advertisement exposure among all students (middle and high school), by sources of exposure

  • The percentage of middle and high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from ≥1 source was 68.9% in 2014.
  • The percentage of middle and high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements at retail stores was 54.8% in 2014.
  • The percentage of middle and high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from the Internet was 39.8% in 2014.
  • The percentage of middle and high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from TV/movies was 36.5% in 2014.
  • The percentage of middle and high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from magazines/newspapers was 30.4% in 2014.

Electronic cigarette advertisement exposure among middle school students, by sources of exposure

  • The percentage of middle school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from ≥1 source was 66.4% in 2014.
  • The percentage of middle school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements at retail stores was 52.8% in 2014.
  • The percentage of middle school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from the Internet was 35.8% in 2014.
  • The percentage of middle school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from TV/movies was 34.1% in 2014.
  • The percentage of middle school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from magazines/newspapers was 25.0% in 2014.

Electronic cigarette advertisement exposure among high school students, by sources of exposure

  • The percentage of high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from ≥1 source was 70.9% in 2014.
  • The percentage of high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements at retail stores was 56.3% in 2014.
  • The percentage of high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from the Internet was 42.9% in 2014.
  • The percentage of high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from TV/movies was 38.4% in 2014.
  • The percentage of high school students exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from magazines/newspapers was 34.6% in 2014.